By MIKE LEE
Closing a chapter in a long, difficult fight for a fair contract, the 12,000 workers represented by DC 37 at the City University of New York (CUNY), overwhelmingly approved the agreement.
The union announced the results on Monday. The members backed the agreement by 98 percent in a mail ballot vote conducted by the American Arbitration Association. Ballots were sent to members on July 1, after the union negotiated a tentative agreement with CUNY on June 10.
The contract increases the pay by more than 10 percent for the hardworking CUNY DC 37 members over an 87 month period, covering the time from November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2017. The contract provides 10.41% in compounded wage increases and a $1,000 bonus upon ratification. The contract also includes an annual $200 increase to the welfare fund for all active and retired employees.
CUNY also agreed to raise the minimum wage for thousands of DC 37 members who earn less than $15 an hour, in line with the increase passed by the state earlier this year.
This settlement with CUNY reflects DC 37 contracts with the city, that covers 100,000 members who work in city agencies, NYC Health + Hospitals, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions.
“Our CUNY members’ overwhelming vote of approval shows widespread support for this hard fought pact,” said DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. “In addition to the retroactive pay increases and the ratification bonus they will receive, lower paid members will now be on a path toward $15 an hour minimum wage. We thank them for their patience and perseverance, and we will announce pay dates as soon as they are available.”
The settlement impacts members of Locals 375, 384, 983, 1407, 1597, 1797, 2054 and 2627.
City University of New York and Educational Opportunity Centers Local 384 President Sandy Tucker lauded the contract ratification. “It took hard work for us to reach this agreement, and in my heart this is the best that could ever happen,” Tucker said.